Officials: Sandbar behavior ‘getting better’ every year

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Activity on Torch Lake's notorious "sandbar" area at the south end of the lake was much quieter and better behaved during the holiday period last week than in previous years, according to law enforcement officials and residents, with many families seen enjoying the water.



REGION – A continued heavy presence of law enforcement authorities on the well-known "sandbar" at the south end of Torch Lake near Torch River over the July 4 holiday has calmed wild and illegal behavior considerably, according to several authorities and residents following last week's revelries.

"I have to say it was one of the better ‘Fourths’ at the sandbar," Antrim County Sheriff Dan Bean said Monday. "Tuesday, July 3 (when the annual Torch Lake fireworks show took place) seemed to be more family oriented and we had very few problems.

“On Wednesday, the Fourth of July, traffic was busier and we had some incidents of intoxication which resulted in a few arrests for drunk and disorderly, but overall the holiday was much quieter and better behaved from previous years.

"I am not sure if it was better because of the holiday taking place mid-week or not," Bean continued. "Law enforcement entities from the Antrim County Sheriff’s Office, Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Department of Natural Resources, and state parks service were there in force and it seems to have calmed things down considerably.

"Each year seems to be getting better."

Sheriff Pat Whiteford of the Kalkaska County Sheriff's Office agreed.

"The crowds were thinner with the holiday being the busiest day,” Whiteford said. “My staff was spread out on the weekends but concentrated heavily on July 3 and July 4.

“I personally believe that the continued efforts of the Kalkaska and Antrim Sheriff's offices along with MSP and DNR will lead to future years of safe gatherings over the July 4 holiday,” he added.

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